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Quit job, how long do i have to be paid and other funny tidbits.

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  • Quit job, how long do i have to be paid and other funny tidbits.

    I recieved a call from an employment agency (Agency 1) that usually specializes in H1 visa jobs for people from India about a job at a company in New Jersey. The agency is based out of Chicago. Just for clarity, an H1 visa is not a factor in this case as I am neither Indian, nor an immigrant. I am an American Citizen. Everyone at Agency 1 is Indian. This agency was actually contracted by another agency based out of New Jersey (Agency 2). Agency 2 is contracted with finding a person to work at the job site (Company). Here's what happened.

    I started November 1st and I was never told a specific pay schedule. I was just told I would get my first paycheck in "mid december" and that I would be paid monthly. My checks are coming from Agency 1. The paychecks I recieve would be for the previous month's hours, so the check i recieve in "mid December" would cover November's hours.

    I worked at Company for about a month and a half (until December 14th) but hat to quit due to some family problems and at this point I had not yet recieved my paycheck. I gave 2 weekw notice to Company, but had a feeling that games were going to be played with my paycheck because Agency 1 is so small time. Well my last day at Company rolls around and I recieve a call from Agency 1 saying that they have sent my check but are going to put a stop payment on it. Their reasoning was that since I didn't give any notice to them, Agency 2 may not pay Agency 1 for my services. Agency 1 goes on to tell me they will not pay me anything until they have been paid by Agency 2. I talked to someone at Agency 1 in the finance department (I got a name, he left it on my answering machine, but I can not understand what it is because his Indian accent is so heavy so when i call the company i still have no idea who to ask for.) and when I said "lawyer" they changed their mind and decided not to stop payment on that paycheck. I got the "mid December" paycheck for all of November's hours and was able to deposit it just fine.

    It is now time to recieve my paycheck for December's hours and they are singing the same tune again: "We will write you a check as soon as Agency 2 has paid us for your services." The thing that really scares me, is that Agency 1 offers a "If you're not satisfied with our employees you don't have to pay! no questions asked!" policy. If Agency 2 decides they were not satisfied with me (perhaps because i quit before the contract was over) they will never pay Agency 1, and then in turn, since Agency 1 never gets money from them, they never pay me!

    I don't know if this is illegal or not, but it sure does seem wrong doesn't it?

    What recourse do I have? If I hire an attourney to help me get my paycheck I imagine a large chunk of that paycheck (when i get it) is going to go straight to the attourney so I don't think that will help me much, as I just want the money I worked for.

    If naming the companies in this rant will help I will do that in a future post. Please let me know.
    Last edited by GutBomb; 01-09-2006, 07:18 AM.

  • #2
    As an employee, you must be paid in accordance with the laws of the state in which you work, irrespective of whether or not the agency has been paid by the client for your services. New Jersey law requires you be paid on a semi-monthly basis if nonexempt (hourly) and on a monthly basis if exempt. Workers employed by staffing agencies for placement at clients are very rarely exempt. In either case, you must be paid no later than 10 days following the end of the pay period. You can file a claim for unpaid wages with the NJ Dept. of Labor.

    Well, I'm assuming you work in NJ; it was kind of hard to determine from your post.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 01-09-2006, 07:29 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pattymd
      As an employee, you must be paid in accordance with the laws of the state in which you work, irrespective of whether or not the agency has been paid by the client for your services. New Jersey law requires you be paid on a semi-monthly basis if nonexempt (hourly) and on a monthly basis if exempt. Workers employed by staffing agencies for placement at clients are very rarely exempt. In either case, you must be paid no later than 10 days following the end of the pay period. You can file a claim for unpaid wages with the NJ Dept. of Labor.
      ah I forgot to mention that Company is actually located in Philadelphia. Do you know if the same 10 day thing applies in Pennsylvania?.

      Also I forgot to mention that I was on a 1099 and not a w2. Does this matter?

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      • #4
        If you are/were properly classified as an independent contractor and not an employee, none of what I said before is applicable, and it doesn't make any difference what state you work in, as the pay frequency laws apply only to employees. As an IC, the terms of your compensation are controlled totally by your contract/agreement.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          well thanks for your help anyway. I have been asked to call them this evening to resolve the situation, so I will call them and let the forum know what happens.

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